ABOVE: Among those symbolically breaking ground for the Pro-Vision Academy in Southeast Houston were NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (fifth from left) and Pro-Vision Founder Roynell Young (sixth from left), Texans GM Rick Smith (third from right) and Council Member Dwight Boykins (far right).
Among those symbolically breaking ground for the Pro-Vision Academy in Southeast Houston were NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (fifth from left) and Pro-Vision Founder Roynell Young (sixth from left), Texans GM Rick Smith (third from right) and Council Member Dwight Boykins (far right).
This past Thursday, February 2nd, the NFL Foundation, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Houston Texans General Manager Rick Smith and leaders of the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee held a press conference to announce that the NFL Foundation was providing a $1 million grant to the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee via “Touchdown Houston” in an effort to improve the surrounding communities of the Super Bowl host city and leave an impact on all 11 counties of Houston by concentrating on education, health and community enhancement.
Pro-Vision Academy was one of this year’s recipients of the National Football League’s Super Bowl Legacy Grant program, which will be used for a new football stadium and track. Pro-Vision Academy is a Houston-based community organization that has been providing a holistic, rigorous educational model which seeks to develop self-esteem, job and study skills and a sense of social responsibility and ethics since 1990.
“This is a significant day because it allows for Pro-Vision to get one step closer to our mission, which is to inspire hope and purpose in the lives of young people through access to academic, economic and social enrichment opportunities,” said Roynell Young, Pro-Vision founder and a former NFL player himself. “As a key ingredient to a healthy community, you need healthy people in both mind and body. This investment will allow for this to happen.”
The grant will allow Pro-Vision to begin work on a multi-purpose football stadium with a track and field that will be used not just by the Academy’s football team but also by the community, including the Pop Warner football program for youngsters and allowing everyone in the community to use the track for exercise.
Pro-Vision Academy, along with 14 other community organizations, received grants through the National Football League’s Super Bowl Legacy Grant program. The grant recipients were chosen based on their contribution to the community’s education, health and wellness.
“The most important thing for us, other than having a great event, is to have an impact, a long-lasting impact, on the community,” said Commissioner Goodell. “Roynell, you are the definition of character, of commitment. Your dedication to the community, to the kids in this community, your integrity, it’s really quite remarkable and inspiring.”
Pro-Vision’s impact is felt every day when young people discover their unshakable purpose, when a mentor inspires a youth to succeed and persevere against all odds and when a community is transformed. So far, Pro-Vision has impacted the lives of 3,000 young men in its 20-year history. Its goal is to provide life-changing programs that help young people achieve their full potential. Ric Campo, chair of the Host Committee, pointed out “I have to tell you that at Pro-Vision, it was a trifecta. They connect with every one of those things.”
Other speakers at the news conference had praise for Young and Pro-Vision Academy, such as Houston Texans GM Rick Smith, who is also a Pro-Vision Board Member.
“I’m just really proud of what Roynell Young has been able to accomplish here and the vision that he has, affecting communities and people that really need it. And that’s what’s wonderful about this place,” said Smith. “I think if you spend any time here, you will understand how significant the contributions of all the folks here at Pro-Vision and what they do. And we’re certainly proud as the Houston Texans and as a member of the board, very proud of this place.”
Houston City Councilmember Dwight Boykins, whose District D includes the Academy said, “I have been a fan for what Roy has done for these young men in this neighborhood, in this school. And you talk about going on to college and the success rate, it’s just mind boggling. Because I was one of those inner city kids and people like Roy stepped into my life and now I’m a City Councilmember.”
Erica Lee Carter, Trustee, Harris County Board of Education, who was also representing her mother, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said, “Congresswoman Jackson Lee has always believed in your vision, Pro-Vision Academy, and in the vision for all of our children. When you invest in our children, you’re investing in not only their promise but in their potential. We’re not only going to have future NFL players, but coaches, general managers and maybe a commissioner.”
After holding a news conference on Pro-Vision Academy’s current field, a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony was held for the future stadium and track with all the speakers digging up a shovelful of dirt.
“It is my honor to have been able to serve this community for the past 26 years,” said Young. “And I pledge to all who are here today, that we will continue to work hard, to be good stewards of all and any resources that are invested in this organization.”
Following the event, current and former NFL players conducted a panel discussion on the importance of character education with some of the Pro-Vision Academy students.